Throughout human history, urban centers have always attracted massive concentrations of people, thus requiring an extensive system of public transit to be formed. How to transport immense quantities of people to and from the metropolis has proven to be a feat that is sometimes achieved with deft talent. At other times, it can be cumbersome, burdensome, and frustrating. Creating the right transit system can a make an extreme difference in attracting and retaining top talent, be that in regards to culture, capitalism, or simple urban development.
With Des Moines on the rise, it is clear that public transit is taking on a role of great importance. It is time to implement an efficient system that causes convenience and not frustration.—one that makes life easy, not hard, and one that fosters economic development. That is why the Transit Future Work Group is so important. Formed through the Capital Crossroads Vision Plan in order to analyze transportation challenges and create/implement new and efficient transportation methods for Des Moines urbanites, the group promises to better the future of Iowa’s most distinguished and fastest growing city.
According to the US Census Bureau, Des Moines has grown 9.4% since 2010, and Dallas County has grown by an immense 21.2%. Not to mention, Iowa’s unemployment rate is below 4%. With these tell-tale numbers, Iowa is fast becoming a magnet for the professional world. The only way to sustain such incredible growth is to expand public transit. In this regard, young Des Moines professionals were asked: “What is your top priority for improving the region?” Their answer—public transit. A separate DART survey concluded that non-riders emphasized the importance of investment in public transit over adding new or widening old roads.
Fortunately, there is a fairly clear consensus on where and how money should be spent. This bodes well for the future of Des Moines and where we are heading. With cars on the busiest stretch of Des Moines road (Interstate Highway 235) having increased tremendously from 115,000 to 127,000 in just the last six years, the time to act is now. Moving forward into this very significant part of Des Moines history, the value of cohesion, unity, and collaboration cannot be understated. It’s a good thing Iowans know how to get along.